Types of White Collar Crime
Updated: Mar 28, 2019
There are many types of crime that you can be arrested for. But one type that you don’t often hear about is white collar crime. That’s because it is an umbrella term used for a wide variety of criminal acts that involve fraudulent and deceitful acts in order to gain profit. To get a better understanding of what criminalities fall under this category, here’s an overview of some of the most common types of white collar crimes and what they mean.
When a business engages in price fixing or attempts to create a monopoly in their market, they are attempting to prevent competition in the marketplace. If they are acting with intent, then they could be fined with an anti-trust violation.
Filing for bankruptcy when you have money stored away is also a serious type of white collar crime. If there is intent to mislead creditors or conceal assets when applying for bankruptcy, the person could be punished by law.
It is illegal to demand money from another person by threatening them. Threats of bodily harm, damage to one’s property, or threats to expose secrets or confidential information, are all acts of blackmail.
Offering money or information in order to gain influence from another person can be considered an act of bribery. This often happens when one business offers another a reward or money to ensure they receive something in return that would often not be given under normal circumstances.
One of the most common types of white collar crime is computer fraud. This crime includes stealing information from a computer, such as confidential documents or bank and credit card information.
Manufacturing fake brands like Gucci apparel or accessories, printing counterfeit money, and producing counterfeit tokens worth value, are all examples of illegal counterfeit offences.
Credit Card Fraud
There’s no surprise that using another person’s credit card to make purchases that are not authorized by the cardholder, is illegal. This also includes stealing a person’s PIN or credit card information without their consent.
Stealing money or withholding assets for the purpose of theft when you were entrusted with the money, is considered to be embezzlement. For instance, a lawyer might take some of the funds that their client entrusted they to hold in escrow, which is illegal.
Discharging any toxic substances that do not follow the appropriate environmental laws is considered to be a violation. This includes illegal dumping or improper handling of toxic waste.
Healthcare professionals are required to practice ethically. They are not allowed to do things like charge for services that are not performed, or accept kickbacks, for instance. If found guilty, they may be charged with healthcare fraud.
Remember when Martha Stewart was jailed for insider trading? That's a great example of yet another type of white collar crime. A person that has knowledge of events, which are not available to the public, cannot trade stocks to better their position based on this knowledge.
Pretending that you bought a pair of glasses and then lying on the insurance claim to obtain money, is considered insurance fraud. It’s important to know that it is illegal to falsify or inflate any claims you make to your insurance company.
Money that is made illegally through selling drugs, for example, is often concealed to avoid displaying the source of those funds. This process of hiding illegal money is called money laundering. The act of 'washing' the money (mixing it in with clean money by falsifying invoices) is also considered a crime.
If a professional in the securities field was purposely manipulating the market or stealing from a client's securities account to benefit themselves, they run the risk of being charged with securities fraud.
It’s illegal to not pay your taxes. Avoiding filing a tax return or falsifying information on the tax return could result in a tax evasion penalty.
We’ve all heard those unfortunate stories about people being scammed by fake telemarketers pretending to be a charity or pretending to sell something to steal someone’s personal identification. What you don’t always hear is that if those people are caught they could be facing some serious penalties.
What To Do If Charged?
Both individuals and corporations can be charged with these types of white-collar crimes. If you or someone you love has been arrested, it's crucial that you contact a lawyer immediately. In many cases, sentences can be reduced if the defendant can and is willing to assist the authorities, but you should never talk to a police officer alone. And, if found guilty, penalties can range between fines, forfeitures, home arrest, and also imprisonment. So it's important to seek legal help to avoid receiving a punishment that you don’t deserve.
If you’ve been convicted of a white collar crime, our team has the experience you need to get a fair trial. Contact us today!